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'Gaming Cafe' Establishment Eyeing Oswego Location

Jun 02, 2015 09:39PM ● By Steven Jack

Stella's Place is considering a location in Oswego for one of its video gaming cafes. (Photo courtesy of Stella's Place website)

Oswego soon could be home to an adults-only gaming cafe with slot and video poker machines.

Stella’s Place, which currently operates 29 Chicago-area locations including one in Plano, is eyeing the former location of Blockbuster Video at 350 Douglas Road. Officials from the company appeared before the Oswego Village Board Tuesday night to discuss their concept, which includes a “neighborhood gaming cafe and gathering place for adults to enjoy slots and video poker in a warm and welcoming environment.”

Trustees discussed whether an establishment that draws most of its revenue from video gaming would be a good fit for Oswego. The village currently allows gambling gaming machines in establishments that draw the majority of their revenue in food and beverage sales. 

The Stella’s Place concept includes food and a wine, coffee and beer bar in the front with gaming machines located in a separate area near the back. The establishments are designed with a mid-century modern aesthetic, and are for those over the age of 21.

The company has yet to apply for liquor or gaming licenses in the village, but trustees were mostly receptive to the proposal. 

Trustee Pam Parr said her only reservation was to ensure that a Stella’s location wouldn’t hurt other local establishments in the village with gaming licenses. She instructed the village’s Economic Development Director Vijay Gadde to contact other gaming license holders for their input. 

“I just want to make sure we’re not cutting their throats,” Parr said. 

Asked for his input, Police Chief Jeff Burger said the village has not experienced any public safety issues with the current video gaming licenses, and he didn’t foresee any with an establishment such as Stella’s Place. Burgner said he will contact chiefs of police in communities with other locations for their input. 

The company's Chief Operating Officer Charity Johns said each Stella’s location operates only five machines with $2 limits per bet and a maximum payout of $500. Each location employs 8 to 12 workers. Each location is generally open from 8 a.m. to "late night.”

The opening of a Stella's Place in Oswego, would be months away, but a formal application could come before the Village Board within the next month, Gadde said.

To learn more about Stella’s Place, check out the company’s website.